Lampard out, Malouda could feature in Anfield clash

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard will miss Sunday's Premier League clash against Liverpool, but winger Florent Malouda is in contention to feature at Anfield.

Lampard had hoped to play some part against the Reds this weekend after stepping up his recovery from hernia surgery and a groin injury, but the England star will not start training with the squad until next week.

"He is not available for this game, we have to take time again. Next week finally he will be ready," Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti said today. "Now he moved on and started to train, we've taken time to put him 100 per cent fit, it was not an easy problem, this is the only reason. We don't want to take a risk. I hope he will be ready against Sunderland."

We don't want to take a risk. I hope he (Frank Lampard) will be ready against Sunderland.
Carlo Ancelotti, Chelsea manager

However, France international Malouda has made a quicker than expected return from a twisted ankle after training with the Chelsea squad. Ancelotti, whose side are five points clear at the top of the table, will decide closer to kick-off whether to start Malouda or Salomon Kalou on the left flank.

The Italian is also sweating on Michael Essien's fitness after the Ghana midfielder sustained a toe injury.

"I can give to you nine men," Ancelotti said when asked his team for Sunday. "Cech, Ivanovic, Alex, Terry, Cole, Mikel, Zhirkov, Anelka, Drogba. Malouda or Kalou, Essien or Ramires.

"We have a little problem with Essien, we are not sure he will be fit Sunday, he has a problem on his toe. It is a little problem but I hope he will be available to play. I think he will travel for Liverpool and we will take a decision Sunday morning. Malouda is available to play, he recovered very well, and the other players are okay."